Barack Obama has been elected 44th President of the United States. In addition to winning all of those states won by John Kerry in 2004 (Hawaii, the three West Coast states, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC and everything to the northeast, including New York and all of New England), Obama has carried:
- Nevada (5 EVs)
- Colorado (9)
- New Mexico (5)
- Iowa (7)
- Indiana (11)
- Ohio (20)
- Virginia (13)
- Florida (27)
In addition, Obama is slightly ahead in North Carolina, leading by 12,160 votes, out of over 2 million cast. McCain held on by 6,000 votes in Missouri. Georgia appears in the McCain camp, 53-46, but a large number of votes have not yet been registered, believed to be early votes leaning to Obama, and AP has not yet called the state. All other states have gone to McCain.
Some points of interest:
- Barack Obama led in Montana early in the count, before eventually losing, 50-47.
- For much of the night it appeared possible that Obama would win one of Nebraska’s five EVs. Nebraska and Maine both split their EVs, with 2 EVs going to the statewide winner, with one each going to each congressional district. However the two states have never split their EVs since changing their system of electing presidential electors.
- John McCain ended up winning in Arizona by only nine points, 54-45.
- Obama is the first Democrat since 1964 to win in states such as Indiana and Virginia.
On the last count of the night, the popular vote sits at:
- Obama – 52.3% – 62.2 million votes
- McCain – 46.4% – 55.2 million votes
With George W. Bush polling 62.04 million votes in 2004, Obama now stands as the single candidate to have received the most votes in global electoral history. In comparison, John Kerry polled 59m, Al Gore polled 50.999m and George W Bush polled 50.45m in his first election in 2000. It appears that the highest vote for a single candidate in a non-US election was the 58.3m votes cast for Lula de Silva in the second round of his re-election in 2006. Lula also polled over 52m in his first election campaign in 2002. To put it in a ranking:
- Barack Obama 2008 – 62.2 million
- George W. Bush 2004 – 62.0 million
- John Kerry 2004 – 59.0 million
- Lula de Silva 2006 – 58.3 million
- John McCain 2008 – 55.3 million
- Ronald Reagan 1984 – 54.5 million
- Lula de Silva 2002 – 52.8 million
- Al Gore 2000 – 51.0 million
- George W. Bush 2000 – 50.5 million
- George H. W. Bush 1988 – 48.9 million
- Bill Clinton 1996 – 47.4 million
- Richard Nixon 1972 – 47.2 million
- Bill Clinton 1992 – 44.2 million
- Ronald Reagan 1980 – 43.5 million
- Lyndon Johnson 1964 – 43.1 million
- Michael Dukakis 1988 – 41.8 million
- Jimmy Carter 1976 – 40.8 million
As far as I can tell, these are the only 16 candidates in global history to poll over 40 million votes, and only one of them (Lula de Silva) is not an American. Of course, countries like India have seen parties poll much higher numbers, but no country with a presidential system and a functioning democracy has such large numbers of voters as the US and Brazil. In comparison, the Indian National Congress polled 100 million votes in the 2004 federal election, but only won 26% of the vote.
Update: oops, I missed John McCain.